Artist Spotlight + Tracy Hamlin: Creating a Costume Tradition


Tracy Hamlin of Halfshell Productions

“Costuming is a tradition in New Orleans. Good costuming is embraced and rewarded here and it is the thing I love most about this City and its people.” – Tracy Hamlin, Halfshell Productions

It’s not uncommon on a Monday morning to see someone whizzing by on their bicycle with feathers in their hair and glitter on their face. It’s these fun-loving, creative folks that make New Orleans such a colorful city. It’s what Tracy loves most about the Crescent City.

Tracy Hamlin_Halfshell Productions_Fall Celebration Headdress

Born in the Mississippi Delta, Tracy naturally migrated downstream to New Orleans. Here in the Crescent City is where she began her own costuming tradition one year during Mardi Gras. It all started with a headdress creation. Since then her creativity has taken off and you can find her making custom-made pieces from feather bustiers to nutria pelt bags to alligator shoes.

“I love to see ordinary materials such as feathers, shells, appliques; as well as some not so ordinary materials like alligator heads and nutria pelts, come alive on my headdresses and bustiers. People take on another dimension when they costume. I love to see that transformation as they wear my creations.” – Tracy Hamlin


Tracy Hamlin_Halfshell Productions_Small Nutria Pelt Evening Bag

Most recently, Tracy has been creating one-of-kind Alligator chews (shoes) with real alligator heads accompanied by feathers, nutria, fringe and sequins. They could be the perfect pair for you to stomp or “chomp” your way in style.

Tracy Hamlin_Halfshell Productions_Fringed Alligator Chews

With Halloween and Carnival season coming sooner than we think, Tracy Hamlin’s creations are the perfect pieces of fabulous wearable art to add to your costume closet.

You can also catch Tracy this Saturday, September 26 at Palmer Park – Arts Market of New Orleans from 10am to 4pm.